The Indian Premier League (IPL) has seen a mix of young and old when it comes to captaincy. Numerous veterans have been tasked with using their experience to guide the rest, while some novice youngsters have also been thrown in the deep end – both giving mixed results. But in the midst of all the shuffling and chaos, there has been one constant: Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have also led their teams for a long time and, along with Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir, are the only players to have played more than 100 games as captains.
MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings):
Captain Cool has run Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Supergiants and while one was a fairytale, the other not so much. Dhoni has played 174 games as captain – the most in IPL history. He has 104 wins as captain, 69 losses and one no result. The current CSK skipper boasts one of the best win rates at 60.11, which is the highest for anyone who has led their team in 30 or more IPL matches.
Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore):
Today’s India and RCB skipper is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to bat-in-hand performance. However, he was unable to transfer that success to captain. He has captained the Bangalore franchise in 110 games, leading them to 49 wins while finishing on the losing side 55 times. However, he hasn’t let the friction of the green run its course as captain. He was part of two draws and had four no results – more than anyone else. Kohli has a win rate of 47.16.
Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians):
Mumbai darling, Rohit Sharma, has become what Dhoni is to Chennai. While he may not surpass Dhoni in win rate (58.65), Rohit has led the Mumbai franchise to four title wins – the most of any in IPL history. He played 104 games as captain and led his team to 60 wins. He has suffered 42 losses as a captain and was part of two draws.
Dinesh Karthik (Kolkata Knight Riders):
The wicket-keeper batsman has led two teams: Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) and the Kolkata Knight Riders. While his time with the Delhi franchise may not have been good, he has impressed KKR. In total, Karthik played 36 games as captain in the IPL, leading his team to 17 wins and losing 18 times with one tie. His 48.61 win rate isn’t great, but it’s not a complete disaster either.
David Warner (SunRisers Hyderabad):
The Australian star has had a rough few years with the controversy over ball mess and stuff, but that doesn’t seem to have had any detrimental effect on his at bat. He was reinstated as team captain by the SunRisers Hyderabad ahead of IPL 2020, replacing Kane Williamson. He led the team between 2015 and 2017 and took them to the title triumph in 2016. Warner led the SRH in a total of 45 games, with 26 wins. He also captained the Delhi Daredevils in two games, bringing his total in IPL to 47 with 26 wins and 21 losses, giving him a 55.31 win rate.
Steve Smith (Rajasthan Royals):
Steve Smith has led three teams: Pune Warriors, Rajasthan Royals and Rising Pune Supergiant. Although Smith missed the 2018 season like Warner, he started the 2019 season under the direction of Ajinkya Rahane. However, the Australian was brought in to replace Rahane halfway through the season
Rajasthan only won two of the eight matches. In total, Smith has played 29 games as captain in the IPL, with 19 wins, nine losses and no result. His win rate of 67.85 is the highest in the league for anyone who has captained more than five games.
Shreyas Iyer (Capital Cities of Delhi):
The stylish right-hander took over as captain of the Delhi Daredevils in the mid-2018 season after Gautam Gambhir stepped down after a nightmare. He led the team under the new guise of Delhi Capitals throughout IPL 2019. He has played a total of 24 matches as captain with 13 wins, 10 losses and one draw, for a win percentage of 56.25.
KL Rahul (Kings XI Punjab):
Rahul leads an IPL team for the first time this season. He has taken over the Punjab team captain from Ravichandran Ashwin, who will play under Shreyas Iyer at Delhi Capitals in IPL 2020.
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